By Patrick Rocchio
Merchants in Pelham Bay are looking for innovative ways to increase the amount of available parking on commercial streets. One plan calls for the installation of angled parking on Crosby and Buhre avenues.
Ed Romeo, a local businessman and president of the Pelham Bay Taxpayers Community Association, broached the idea after a recent Pelham Bay Merchants Association meeting.
Romeo and Pelham Bay Merchants Association vice-president Mike DiFigola, of Vito’s Men Shop, recently walked the entire length of Buhre and Crosby avenues to sketch out a preliminary plan.
“I think the best thing to help area businesses is angled parking on Crosby Avenue,” Romeo said. “If you cut the curb back between four and five feet you can fit angled parking in there. You will have to leave the bus stops the way they are.”
Romeo feels that with the lure of area malls, it has become more important to make sure that enough parking is available for those shopping locally. Adding more parking spots could mean more business.
“From Rite Aid to Blockbuster on Crosby, if you cut the curb and relocate the trees, you could fit 20 new spaces just there,” Romeo said. “It will eliminate most double-parking. It could help spur business on Buhre Avenue. It will help residents, merchants, and the city.”
Romeo said that since the mayor’s PlaNYC 2030 pushes for greater population density in areas close to the subway, capital improvements like angled parking is all the more necessary for communities like Pelham Bay.
DiFigola said that he thought that creating angled parking on the street is feasible, and ought to be given consideration. Since there is no bus routes on Buhre, it seems that street may be the spot to test out angled parking.
“We could try angled parking on Buhre Avenue, which has less traffic, and see how it works there,” DiFigola said.
“People can still park their cars there and walk to Westchester or Crosby avenues.”
Councilman Jimmy Vacca’s office is gathering together a group of concerned citizens to study parking on the streets in Pelham Bay and then present findings to the Department of Transportation.
“We are going to evaluate parking on residential and commercial streets in Pelham Bay with citizens, and then make a series of proposals to DOT and ask them to undertake their own study,” said a spokesman for Jimmy Vacca. “We are looking for volunteers to work with us on the issue of parking in Pelham Bay.”
If you are interested in volunteering, contact Bret Collazzi at (718) 931 –1721.